Saturday, February 02, 2008

I'm a bit sad.

I have just received word that I did not qualify for a very big scholarship to study journalism in the UK. I knew it was a long-shot--the organization who manages funding has a thing for over-achieving Ivy League undergrads and does not consider financial need--but still, I'm a little disappointed.

So, here I am, back in my old situation: What to do next? I can still go to Columbia, and I think this is what I would like to do, but the tuition is absolutely obscene: $65,000 (all expenses budgeted). And since I've been looking after my dad, I've barely been able to work. (Well, actually, I work around the clock, everyday of the week--I just don't get paid for any of it.) AND, because Dad's been ill, there's not a lot of money coming in, and things are just tight. (Being here with him, I've also learned about his VERY IRRESPONSIBLE financial management--but that's a BLOG unto itself.)

Now, a lot of people have been telling me just to borrow the money. "It's COLUMBIA, after all!" But I just think that's foolish. I've been in touch with LOTS of people who have gone to the journalism school, and they all say the same: Columbia degree or not, journalism just doesn't pay. In fact, the average starting salary for a Columbia J-school graduate is $28,000/year. On top of that, interest on federal loans for graduate school is 8 percent!

Twist the knife a little deeper...

Columbia's already promised me $20,000, and I'm still shaking their tree for more, but I simply won't go $45,000 into the hole for that Ivy League paper (that damned thing must be printed in platinum). REMEMBER THE RECESSION?!

My family, which consists only of my father, mother, and younger, and definitely not richer younger sister, (we don't really have extended family) can help me with about $10,000. That leaves another $35,000, or so.

I'm applying to scholarships as fast as I can find them, but last year, I applied to about a dozen and got only two little ones (though believe me, every little bit helps).

So I'm going to put this out there: HELP.

If you like my blog, throw a couple bucks my way. If you like my blog and can afford it, throw a few more. If you know anyone who wants to sponsor a hard-working, multi-lingual, well-travelled, non-22-year-old-Harvard-graduate who is, however, totally dedicated to mastering the craft of journalism, do let me know. I'd be glad to learn about more scholarships, too, and would be happy to discuss some no-interest loans with anyone who'd consider it.

Also, if I can offer my services as a writer, teacher, tutor, tour guide (need to plan a trip to China? Hawaii?) in exchange for some cash.

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